LEIGH WOOD’s world featherweight title defense – known as “Dancing With the Devil” – ended with a left hook from hell.
The 34-year-old man from Nottingham came out on top after six rounds against 24-year-old Mexican Mauricio Lara.
But his short reign as the 9th king ended in impasse when the little devil – cloaked in red – seared him seven times.
Fighting like an angel for six rounds, Wood was on the verge of setting up a summer showdown with Leeds legend Josh Warrington at the City Ground.
Then Lara – who fueled up with a giant pizza and bottle of Coke at Friday’s weigh-in – sliced up his dreams with a sensational punch.
Both dangerous power punchers spouted jabs in the opener, then Lara Woods skimmed curls with the same left hooks that devastated Warrington in 2021.
The Gedling icon landed the cleaner shots thanks to his longer levers and deafening crowd.
Wood came to second with a blob of fat over his left eye trying to plug a cut.
Lara could see and smell blood, but it was the Brit who enjoyed most of the round until a right hook turned the fight upside down.
Wood wobbled and swayed, clinging to the steamrolling challenger and then pulling himself up and surviving to the bell.
CASINO SPECIAL – BEST ONLINE CASINOS FOR 2023
Wood dominated the third with precise and powerful punches, left hooks and right hands that stopped the bullish South American – nicknamed Bronco – in his lanes.
In the fourth too, the Englishman landed flush and scored punches, but only his face reddened and bled more. Lara’s punches were less frequent but more vicious.
Wood’s 8,000-strong support was on its feet in the fifth when he pulled the visitor to his left flank with a right hook. But the action was always on the razor’s edge.
The champion was great in round six, stunning Lara with a handful of darting rights and making him miss like a drunken bar thug. But the crazy little Mexican was still stalking him and showed no serious signs of permanent damage.
But then everything went wrong when a left hook robbed him of his senses.
Wood collapsed to the floor and when he defeated the count trainer, Ben Davison wisely threw in the towel.
It was a tragic end to a sinister fighter.
After the fight, heartbroken Wood revealed his intentions for revenge.
He said: “I’m a fighter, I wanted to continue but congratulations to Mauricio Lara. I made a mistake and paid for it.
“I really want the rematch.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7434243/leigh-wood-mauricio-lara-fight-report/ Leigh Wood’s dreams of an All-Brit World Title clash against Warrington are in tatters after he was brutally KO’d by Mauricio Lara